Premium air traffic beats economy

Solid growth in premium, say IATA November stats

Premium air travel continues to by far exceed economy travel, according to the latest figures from the International Air Transport Association. Premium travel recorded a solid 5.4% rise in November, in line with October growth of 5.6%, IATA says in its latest premium traffic monitor.

Current growth is up on expansion seen during the rest of 2013 posted so far (4%), indicating that premium travel picked up in the second half of the year. The acceleration is being supported by rising business confidence and stronger international trade growth, the association says.

By contrast, growth in economy-class travel was relatively slow in November, up just 2.4%. Weak economy travel in the Far East is one reason for this, with year-end consumer confidence dipping in China.

Key premium travel markets maintained strength in November, with the North Atlantic up 5.9%. Better conditions in the US and Europe are also supporting Europe-Far East (9%) and North-Mid Pacific (7%) growth.

The outlook for premium travel continues to improve slowly, together with improvements in the business environment, IATA says. Business confidence is rising and the outlook for world trade is improving on growth in export orders. Premium travel’s share of total travel is rising, which should provide support to yields.


[pictured: Actress Rachel Weisz in British Airways first class suite reclined into a bed; courtesy British Airways]